Saturday morning yoga class. Ninety minutes that’s all about, and all for, me. Ninety minutes of stretching and challenging my body, mind, and spirit. It is definitely one of my favorite moments of the week – my “religion” of sorts.
And as with almost all of the classes, the teacher ended today’s with music, with lyrics that resonate – “I have found a way to live in the presence of the lord.” The song filled me and thrilled me. It touched me deeply.
Say what we all will about my time as a Moonie, my connection with God was vibrant and intense. It was a personal relationship that sustained and fueled me. And when I left the Church, I left that all behind.
For years, I couldn’t even think about God. If my thoughts strayed in that direction, I was overcome with guilt and shame for what I had done in leaving. I couldn’t go there.
So I denied God. I closed that part of me down. And I missed it. I am, bottom line, extremely spiritual. It’s how I like to see the world.
Then I stumbled into Al-Anon many years ago and they taught me to have a “higher power.” That delighted me. I hadn’t realized how much I missed believing in a power greater than myself, in a source of good and love in the world. But I did, and I was eager to have it back.
Which brings me to the song today. We lay on our backs, enjoying Shavasana (rest pose) and the music started. “I have found the way to live in the presence of the lord.”
The words washed over me and I was grateful. Grateful that I had found a way to live in the presence of my lord. Grateful that I was in my yoga class at all. I flashed back to my teenage years and some of the turmoil I faced as I looked to make my final decision – whether or not to leave the Church. I lay there in appreciation that not only had I made the decision I had, but that I had made the decision I had and somehow now could again believe in God (or something). I could be intensely spiritual. I could, in some ways, have my cake and eat it too. I could have my freedom from the religious constraints I grew up with, and still have a sense of spirituality in my life.
I have found a way to live in the presence of the lord. It’s a nice way to live.
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